Role of pH in Aerosol Processes and Measurement Challenges

Miriam Arak Freedman, Emily Jean E. Ott, Katherine E. Marak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


pH is one of the most basic chemical properties of aqueous solution, but its measurement in nanoscale aerosol particles presents many challenges. The pH of aerosol particles is of growing interest in the atmospheric chemistry community because of its demonstrated effects on heterogeneous chemistry and human health, as well as potential effects on climate. The authors have shown that phase transitions of aerosol particles are sensitive to pH, focusing on systems that undergo liquid-liquid phase separation. Currently, aerosol pH is calculated indirectly from knowledge of species present in the gas and aerosol phases through the use of thermodynamic models. From these models, ambient aerosol is expected to be highly acidic (pH0-3). Direct measurements have focused on model systems due to the difficulty of this measurement. This area is one in which physical chemists should be encouraged to contribute because of the potential consequences for aerosol processes in the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1275-1284
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 21 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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